AFRICA IS WHERE HOPE RESIDES” - 2023 AFRICA DAY STATEMENT BY HE JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA
I have been participating in a number of activities put together by the Korea-Africa Foundation to commemorate the 2023 Africa Day here in Seoul, and it is clearer more than ever that Africa is where hope resides.
On the occasion of this year’s commemoration, I celebrate the unity, strength, and diversity of the African continent.
Ours is a resource-rich and dynamic continent with a growing and vibrant youth population; full of endless potential and promise — a place with great prospects on the horizon for building the Africa we all want.
Today provides another opportunity to honour visionaries like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Emperor Haile Sellasie and Gamal Abdul Nasser who laid the foundation for our continental unity and promoted the ideals of pan-Africanism.
We must commend the many others who, in succeeding years, have strived to promote continental peace, development and integration, like Ghana did when under my presidency, we led the way for other African countries, with the implementation of a Visa-on-Arrival policy for fellow Africans.
As we applaud the collective efforts of African nations to promote peace, development and integration, we must also strive for the efficient implementation of the AfCFTA; and hope for Africans to be able to travel visa-free within our own African borders and explore trading opportunities with ease and comfort.
If there was any doubt, the advent of the coronavirus pandemic laid bare the need for greater continental unity and cooperation.
It is unacceptable that amidst endless opportunities, intra-African trade remains the lowest among all the continents.
We must work towards improving healthcare delivery, promoting disease prevention mechanisms and ensuring access to quality healthcare for our people. This will enable us to be better prepared to face health related challenges as we head into the future.
In the spirit of cooperation, we must work together against political instability and dissident activities that may threaten our continent by strengthening security cooperation among member states. This includes addressing issues of corruption, human rights violation, unemployment, inequalities and general absence of rule of law that often serve as impetus for the enablers of instability.
As we build bridges among ourselves and work together, we should empower our mother continent especially our youth and women, eradicate poverty, promote sustainable development and create opportunities for all Africans and generations to come.
Happy Africa Union Day!
Photo Caption: President John Dramani Mahama with the President of the Korea-Africa Foundation, Ambassador Woon-Ki Lyeo (middle) and Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, Chairman of Jonah Capital (left) at the Korea- Africa Business Summit on Africa Day.